Author: Linda Sanford
I could not resist writing about energy stewardship as it applies to everyone: existing homeowners, tenants, and those looking to purchase a home. I am an advocate of Living in a Healthy Home, which is a continuous and ongoing happening in my life.
I find that many of the components for creating a Healthy Home keep on giving, so let’s look at what that stewardship looks like in conserving energy, without scarifying the comfort of the home we have chosen to live in, and how it impacts our natural resources.
When we look at energy stewardship, we look at home construction, appliances, and major features, all that impact energy efficiency, health, and comfort. Conversations are flowing and empowering the home building and retrofitting industry to take notice! Being able to identify sustainable features and having the support of experienced and certified resources is a benefit in contributing toward a Healthy Home lifestyle balance.
Which way do your windows face? The orientation of your windows has a direct impact on a room’s temperature and natural light, and how you choose to live in these rooms.
What do the doors and windows contribute towards your energy efficiency?
I am such and advocate of checking for air leakage and quality in both windows and doors. Ask questions, research, and become aware of the multiple choices that support a home with energy efficiency and health.
What is going on with the water heater?
Thoughtful questions are the age, is it time to replace, and if so, what are the options (heat pump, on-demand) for a more efficient water heating system. Consult your experienced resource and learn as much as you can! The demand society is placing on creating Healthy Homes means mechanicals – and the efficiencies they provide – are constantly updating with new technologies.
Keeping a home energy efficient requires insulation.
What are Healthy Home appliances?
The Energy Star Certification is a guideline and a wonderful consideration, as all appliances are not created equal or produce energy savings equally. I would suggest doing some in-depth research when selecting a refrigerator or clothes dryer; how will their energy performance impact your Healthy Home.
How is your home’s lighting impacting your energy efficiency?
An important portion of my day revolves around light; my wellbeing is definitely impacted by light! When you understand the lighting in your home, it does make a difference in health and comfort. Resource the types and efficiencies for the rooms and fixtures you are considering. Here is a thought that does not get addressed often. Dimmers and timers have the ability to positively impact energy costs.
Spending time indoors – and what we bring into our living spaces – contributes to the quality of the indoor air.
This is not for the faint of heart in my book! Ask, research, and investigate how you can control air ventilation from both interior air and exterior air. Investigate what this looks like for your home, and what solutions can support the continuous creation of a healthier environment. Spending time in my own indoor environment, I look for health, comfort, and safety. For me, awareness and action are the key elements in support of my indoor air quality. With controlled air quality and an airtight home, you can lower utility costs and decrease health care costs; fewer air infiltration points within the home allow heating and cooling systems to work more efficiently and effectively. They’ll last much longer as they’re not working as hard!
Check out the roof!
Learn more about materials and colors as they impact energy efficiency. What about alternatives such as adding solar or rainwater catchment? Things to consider include maintenance records, possible material defects, and options that work well for the Healthy Home Lifestyle you are creating. This is not always and easy dive as the environment around your home has a direct impact on roof care and longer-term solutions.
Landscaping is a wonderful means to save energy.
Plants surrounding a home provide shade relief from the heat in the summer months while allowing sunlight to heat the home in the winter months. Hedges and trees protect a home from wind and help to better maintain internal home temperature. Research the types of plants that grow well in your local environment and that take less care, and less water.
There is so much to consider in how to best create a Healthy Home that contributes to our healthy lifestyle and wellbeing; my goal is always to offer baseline ideas of what to think about and where to start, so that you can continue to transition your home and lifestyle – using new technology and products – with more awareness of how to live within your own Healthy Environment.
Looking for more ways to live a Healthy Lifestyle, in a Healthy Home? Let’s have a conversation about how you can live with a lighter environmental footprint.